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Budget deal ends marijuana potency tax and targets illegal shops in New York

1 minute reading time (255 words)

The state budget that’s expected to be adopted in the coming days calls for repealing the potency tax on marijuana products as well as new regulations intended to give local municipalities, including New York City, the ability to more easily inspect and shut down unlicensed cannabis stores.

The enforcement actions, which include provisions to seize illicit marijuana products, will be limited to civil proceedings, however, and include potential fines for violators of up to $10,000 per day. In addition, there will be a process for warning bodega and convenience store operators that if they continue selling cannabis illegally they could face the suspension of state licenses they may have to sell tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets.

The budget bills unveiled overnight Wednesday also will eliminate a state excise tax on medical marijuana, which lawmakers have said is intended to help keep costs down for those who are prescribed cannabis products for medical conditions. Part of that excise tax — 3.15 percent — that is returned to local municipalities where the medical cannabis stores operate will remain in place.

The tax changes that are intended to lower medical marijuana costs, lawmakers said, can help ensure patients continue relying on medically prescribed products rather than trying to “self-medicate” by purchasing products from retail marijuana stores or turning to the illicit marketplace. At the medical cannabis shops, pharmacists are available to help patients determine the right products they may need to help with specific conditions.

[Read more at Times Union]
(Originally posted by AggregatedNews)


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